OSCE mission in Donbass may add up to 1,000 monitors

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (OSCE SMM) is ready to add to 1,000 monitors on condition that their security is ensured and their activity is not hindered, OSCE SMM Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug has said.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (OSCE SMM) is ready to add to 1,000 monitors on condition that their security is ensured and their activity is not hindered, OSCE SMM Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug has said.

He said at a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Inter-Parliamentary Council in Kiev on June 8 that the mission staff may grow by up to 1,000 persons amid the resumption of the conflict.

The deputy chief monitor added that the deployment of OSCE observers would be pointless unless they had free access to the entire territory.

Additionally, the conflicting sides must ensure the security of the monitors, he said.

Monitor teams have been experiencing serious limitations on their activity imposed by all parties to the conflict, Hug said. The monitors are often stranded at checkpoints, for instance in the Luhansk region, and their drones sporadically come under fire or are jammed in violation of the mandate, he said.

In addition, the signatories to the Minsk agreements have yet to present lists of heavy armaments subject to withdrawal from the contact line and information about the withdrawal process and the weapon storage sites to the OSCE SMM, he said.

The mission has yet to receive information about weapons, their pullback and storage sites, Hug said, adding that the lack of such data was not an impediment to arms withdrawal observations.

Read more: Accusations fly as clashes in Donbass threaten to reignite war>>>

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